I would like to introduce you to the virtual challenge by the brand Runr, ‘Miles For Mind’ initiative. If you have browsed through some of the pages on my blog, you may have come across my fundraising page and see I support several charities. One of which is Mind the mental health charity. Sometimes we hear the term mental illness, however, the term we really should be using is mental health. Everyone has mental health, and the subject of mental health is becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Furthermore, in such a fast-paced world, more and more people are suffering from a mental health condition.

In fact, around one in four people in Britain have a mental health condition. Mental health, often misunderstood, can come in different forms. The term covers a broad spectrum of common problems, such as; depression, anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, phobias, eating problems, trauma-related disorders and more. Living fit and healthy is not only about the physical side, but also the mental side of things, and well being. One can describe this as wellness.

Mental health problems are hard for anyone to cope with but sometimes made worse by having to deal with stigma and discrimination from others. The stigma attached to mental illness is very real, and it causes many people to suffer in silence. Charities like Mind, are there to ensure no one has to face a mental health problem alone.

When I came across the initiative by the brand Runr, ‘Miles For Mind’ I signed up. The concept is to utilise running to raise money for the charity Mind. They love the way running brings together a community of like-minded individuals, supporting and inspiring each other. Consequently, with that in mind, excuse the pun, Runr decided to raise money and the awareness for mental health through a virtual running challenge clocking up miles, hence the name. The campaign runs for the whole of May, this is quite fitting as Mental Health Awareness week is also in May. As you may gather, the idea is to see how many miles can accumulate as a collective. This year was the second year of the initiative, and 100% of the profits were donated to Mind.

miles for mind 2019
[Miles For Mind 2019 – photo by Runr]
The launch of the campaign for 2020 has already begun, and you can already sign up. You do not have to wait for May to sign up. Check out the Runr ‘Miles For Mind’ 2020 page to enter.

So how does the ‘Miles For Mind’ virtual challenge work and whos it for?

Open to all abilities, all you have to do is sign up, select the distance challenge you would like to complete between the 1st and 31st of May.  Seven distance options are available; 25-miles, 50-miles, 75-miles, 100-miles, 125-miles, 150-miles, and even 200-miles. The cost of signing up is £13.95 for all distances, there’s even a team challenge.

As the concept is about bringing everyone together and supporting each other, there is also a ‘Miles For Mind’ children option. There is no age limit, you can take part as an individual, a team, a family or group of friends etc. Obviously, the children mileage options are not the same as adults. There are an additional eight distances, ranging from 5-miles all the way to 40-miles in 5-mile increments.

miles for mind medal
[Miles For Mind medal – photo by Runiversity of life]
Everyone who completes the challenge receives a specially designed ‘Miles For Mind’ medal. I must say the 2019 medal was large and is one of the best I now have in my collection. Medals are sent out shortly after the challenge ends, in early June.

How do you track your millage or know you have reached your target?

At the end of the challenge in May, you sum up the miles via whatever method you tracked them. You can use several different mobile phone apps, or simply keep a log using pen and paper if that’s easier. Then all you do is email a screenshot or copy of your miles to Runr, and they will post you your medal.

For those who use the mobile app Strava to log their runs, in 2019 there was an official ‘Miles For Mind’ group which you could join to set up and track the millage throughout the month with other like-minded runners. To share runs, encourage, motivate and support, a Facebook group page was set up also.

If you wanted to raise even more money for the charity, a JustGiving page was available so money could be donated by sponsorship. In addition, you could purchase wrists bands and even a technical t-shirt to run in, from which all profits were donated to Mind.

Remember, you may have no idea what people are dealing with in their personal life. Just be nice! It is that simple. I really enjoyed my ‘Miles For Mind’ challenge and may well enter again for 2020.

Check out my other running related reviews.

miles for mind collage
[Miles For Mind collage – photo by Runiversity of life]
#milesformind #itsokaynottobeokay #mentalhealthawareness #runr #mind

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Runr, ‘Miles For Mind’ Initiative – May 2019
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